Batwa cultural experience

The Batwa cultural experience was created by the displaced Batwa pygmies to educate their children and to share their amzing heritage and traditions with the world.

A day spent with the Batwa gives you the opportunity to enjoy the following:

  • Hike in the forest with the people of the forest. You will have a Batwa guide and he will provide you with the chance
    to see the forest and its habitants through their eyes.
  • See how they lived and hunted in the traditional manner. Enjoy trying out your hunting techniques as the Batwa teach
    you how to shoot with a bow and arrow.
  • Visit a traditional Batwa homestead and learn from the women how to prepare, cook and serve a meal. You will also
    have the opportunity it sample the dishes.
  • Talk to a medicine men and learn about the medicinal properties of the forest flora.
  • Hear ancient legends and traditional songs.

River Semuliki

Semliki River originates from Lake Edward found in Kasese District in Western Uganda. Lake Edward is found in Queen Elizabeth National Park on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The river flows northwards and empties into Lake Albert  located in the Hoima District in Western Uganda at 1.2225°N 30.5038889°E. The river travels 230km along the Rwenzori Range and the border between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo from Lake Edward to Lake Albert

The river as it flows from Lake Edward to Lake Albert is joined by a number of small rivers originating from slopes of the Rwenzori mountains.

The river’s delta is choked with ambatch, a fast-growing thorny tree. and papyrus.

The Semliki has built up a considerable alluvial plain, part of which is included in the Virunga National Park. The river basis is a home of animals including elephants, hippopotamuses, crocodiles, and various kinds of antelopes.

The shifting border
Semliki River forms the boundary between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There is concern on the part of Uganda about the shifting border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of soil erosion. The Bundibugyo district leaders say that the river has shifted almost one kilometer into Uganda.

Sempaya Hot Springs

Sempaya hot springs are Semiliki’s most famous attraction. They are set in a lush swampy clearing close to the south eastern corner of the forest of Semiliki. These two hot springs are in two sites and are each distinct from each other. There is the Female Spring and the Male Spring. The female spring has water boiling at 103 degrees, and it spurts hot water up to 2m above the ground while the male spring is more distant from the female spring and is reached by following a trail.

Water from hot springs is believed to cure certain diseases for example ringworm. The female spring is visited by women who hope for cure for infertility and other problems. Communities living near hot springs in Uganda usually have both spiritual and superstitious attachments to them.
Uganda’s hot springs are often a popular tourist destinations and locations for rehabilitation clinics for those with disabilities. The trail to the springs leads you through a patch of rain forest where red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey and black and white colobus are common. Bird watching safaris are also stunning; you will see different bird species like forest horn.

Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National Park sprawls across the floor of the Semliki Valley on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori. The park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. This is one of Africa’s most ancient and bio-diverse forests; one of the few to survive the last ice age, 12-18,000 years ago.

The Semliki Valley contains numerous features associated with central rather than eastern Africa. Thatched huts are shaded by West African oil palms; the Semliki River (which forms the international boundary) is a miniature version of the Congo River, the forest is home to numerous Central African wildlife species, and the local population includes a Batwa pygmy community that originated from the Ituri. As a result, this park provides a taste of Central Africa without having to leave Uganda.

While Semuliki’s species have been accumulating for over 25,000 years, the park contains evidence of even older processes. Hot springs bubble up from the depths to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years.

Mountain Rwenzori

The Rwenzori Mountains, previously called the “Ruwenzori Range” (spelling changed around 1980 to conform more closely with the local name Rwenjura), is a mountain range of eastern equatorial Africa, located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). These mountains support glaciers and are one source of the river Nile.

The Rwenzori Mountains reach heights up to 5,109 metres (16,762 ft). The highest Rwenzori peaks are permanently snow-capped. The Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Virunga National Park are located in the range.

Crater Lakes

The Ndali-Kasenda Crater Field was formed some 10,000 years ago during a period of intense volcanic activity that resulted in numerous explosion craters. Over time, the craters filled with water and today, the Ndali-Kasenda Crater Field boasts one of the densest concentrations of crater lakes anywhere in the world.

Some offer great places for swimming, viewpoints and nature trails that one can hike surrounded by monkeys, tropical birds, and magnificent sights. There are many accessible hiking routes with the help of a map of the crater lakes available at the hotel.

A nice day trip, for example, could be a visit to Lake Nkuruba Campsite & Bandas. They have a short forest trail or you can take a hike from the lake to the Top of the World (a hill with 360-degree view of the Crater Lake area). Guests can choose to stay at Bwigamiro Country Home from where you can be prepared a sumptuous local lunch and dinner. If you intend to stay overnight in the area, you may make reservations at Fort Motel.

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Located 6km south of the Kibale Forest National Park visitor centre at Kanyanchu, and 40 km from Fort Portal Town, Bigodi was established by Kibale Association for Rural and Environment Development (KAFRED) a local development organization to protect the 4-sqkm Magombe Swamp that’s home to around 200 species of birds (highlights include papyrus gonolek, white-winged warbler and great blue turaco).

It’s also good for spotting butterflies and primates, of which there are eight different species including grey-cheeked mangabey, red tail, vervet, and L’Hoest. Three-hour guided walks (at a fee) depart on demand. Other activities available include village walks, Saturday afternoon basket-weaving demonstrations, dance and drama performances; and fun interpretive meals at Tinka’s place (book in advance) where your hosts (Tinka) share the stories behind the local dishes they serve. Ask the reception for more information and booking.

Karambi Royal Tombs

The Karambi Royal Tombs are the burial grounds of Omukama Daudi Kasagama Kyebambe IV (M.B.E) & Omukama Sir Gorge Kamurasi Rukidi III, Omukama Patrick David Mathew Kaboyo Olimi III. They are located 5 km out of the town on the Kasese Road. If you would like to take a village walk of 3 to 4 hours including the Karambi Tombs we can arrange a local tour operator for you.

Tea Plantations

As you enter Fort Portal, you can not miss the endless vistas of what looks like carefully manicured green shrubbery that makes up the region’s legendary tea plantations. This area is gifted by nature with a cool climate, which ensures a relatively slow plant growth rate and makes for a yield of slowly grown, high quality tea. You can visit a local tea factory to see how it is processed from fresh green leaves to bags of coarse black grain but can only be visited on appointment. Costs vary depending on the tea factory which is available, but tours can be booked at the reception.

Tooro Golf Club

Fort Motel lies adjacent to the Tooro Golf Club, a picturesque 9-hole/18- tee golf course on a hillside that has produced many of Uganda’s finest golfers. If you fancy playing golf with one of the best talented young golfers from Tooro that represent Uganda around the region, please book through the Fort Motel reception. If you did not bring your own set of clubs, you can hire one on the premises.